League legend Billy Slater gave some insight into the attitude of the Roosters players before they suffered a shock first-round loss to the Dolphins.
It was the biggest upset the NRL had seen in years, with the brand new Redcliffe-based side beating one of the Premier’s favorites 28-18 at Suncorp Stadium in a stunning upset.
Many pundits had tipped Bondi’s outfit to win the premiership this year, while most sane judges had the Dolphins firmly entrenched at the bottom of the table.
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On The Billy Slater Podcastthe retired Storm champion revealed that the Chooks players drank their own bathwater during pre-season, which led to a complacent approach to the opener.
“It’s dangerous training to hear players talk about ‘we have the best formation in the competition,’ and that’s what I’ve heard from some Roosters players this summer,” Slater said. .
“They had a real reality check.”
The Roosters have an abysmal first-round record under coach Trent Robinson, having lost eight of their season-opening 11 games since 2012.
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By contrast, the Storm have won 21 straight first-round victories, and coach Craig Bellamy has never lost one since taking charge in 2003.
Slater – who has played his entire career under Bellamy – explained that the shock loss to the Roosters may have had no bearing on their chances of winning the title this year.
“We look at Craig Bellamy, who has never lost a first-round game as a head coach, it’s pretty incredible,” Slater said.
NRL Highlights: Dolphins v Roosters – Round 1
“He is a coach who demands performance and effort from his players in every game, while the Roosters seem to me to be a team trying to build their season.
“They know the grand final is not in March, they are very aware of that.
“How much did you read into that weekend performance, that situation, they think, ‘well, that’s not that important’…I’m not entirely sure.
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“I think it’s probably a bit of that, a bit of complacency. I have no doubt the Roosters were complacent going up to Brisbane.
“They were totally outplayed and outplayed in the effort areas of the game.
“If you look at the Dolphins roster, they bought effort players. They have effort players and consistent players on their team, and that’s the kind of performance you’ll get most often.
“I think (the Roosters) were totally blindsided.”
The Roosters next host the Warriors on Saturday.
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